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Issues In U.S. History (Winter 2003)

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07:17 AM ET (US)
. What exactly is the significance of M. J. Horwitz's Transformation of the American Law? I have that it is instrumentalism and that the courts make laws according to the needs of the times...but I don't remember/understand what that means in terms of creating corporations...

sohbet odaları
  Messages 351-343 deleted by author between 08-18-2008 02:02 AM and 02-24-2006 09:39 AM
10:28 PM ET (US)
I too, uh...missed two postings. Thanks for the offer of amnesty Dr. Benson (hopes the amnesty time frame hasn't expired).

Roaring Twenties
Every time I think of the Roaring Twenties, I think of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book: The Great Gatsby. I’ve never associated the roaring twenties with the “new Negro”. As usual, extreme individuals exist. Garvey viewed every white man as a “potential Klansman” while Klansmen like William J. Simmons viewed every black man as a potential rapist of his wife, mother, daughter or aunt.

Civil Rights Struggle
I was surprised…slightly to find out that Kennedy wasn’t the blatant advocate of the civil rights movement as I initially thought. Like Lincoln, his political welfare was at stake if he were to take a radical stance against the Southern Democrats. MLK is accredited with the CRM, but many others, whites, blacks, people from different socio-economic backgrounds participated in this grass roots movement. As our group concluded in class, is it easier to associate an event with one person.

I really enjoyed the discussions guys. It was refreshing to meet some opened-minded people (you know who you are) at Furman, and it was nice having discussions with those of you set in your ways as well.

Good luck and see you all 8:00 sharp (and yes, I'll be on time)!
Edited 02-20-2003 10:29 PM
Lloyd BensonPerson was signed in when posted
08:39 PM ET (US)
Q. What exactly is the significance of M. J. Horwitz's Transformation of the American Law? I have that it is instrumentalism and that the courts make laws according to the needs of the times...but I don't remember/understand what that means in terms of creating corporations...

A. Horwitz describes a process under which corporations stop being defined by the old precedent of "serving the public good" and become private enterprises with no necessary public benefit other than serving the stockholders.

In the colonial and early national periods, corporations, being bodies (schools, hospitals, turnpikes, bridge companies, etc.) that served the public interest, they had to have their charters approved by the community at large (in the form of state legislatures). Likewise, under the old precedents and the Christian tradition of a "just price," their contracts could be modified if they didn't serve the public good (usually the so-called equity courts did this), and laborers preserved traditional guild-related rights. Under the old system, rights and contractual benefits that damaged other parties were subject to renegotiation. The classic traditional example is of mill owners, whose control of water could not harm the interests of those downstream.

Horwitz argues that to meet the needs of an emerging capitalist commercial society, courts rejected the old precedents as an impossible hindrance on modernization and adopted an instrumental approach to corporate legal rights. In decisions such as Dartmouth College, Gibbons v. Ogden and the Charles River Bridge Case, the U.S. Supreme Court (along with with a myriad of widely cited cases from Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania) established a new system of private enterprise in which corporations (a) served private rather than public interests (b) bound all parties to ironclad conditions ("sanctity of contracts,") (c) established the rule of "caveat emptor" ("let the buyer beware") and outlawed labor organizations as illegal conspiracies (though this latter would change). Corporations stopped requiring legislative acts to be created and could be established simply by filing the appropriate paperwork with state governments.

All of these changes, he argues, were justified for "instrumental" reasons (based on logic inherent to the instrument) rather than on traditional legal precedents. Hence the term "instrumentalism."
Edited 02-20-2003 08:40 PM
Brian Bratton
04:20 PM ET (US)
yeah im late, but ill add my two cents. to add to a very long list of what has already been posted, i think some important parts are. WW1, civil right movement,, pearl harbor, , the cold war, and womens rights. Most of my other ideas are alreayd on the list so, thats waht i think is important, plus what you all have.
Scotty don't!
04:03 PM ET (US)
so, yeah, i'm a little late on the who posting deal, but here ya go. I'm actually giving my response to the Picture Windows book. yeah, really late! But i did enjoy the book. EWen and Baxandall give great insight into this migration in American history. They ask essential questions and examine how the structure of suburban America effects our ideology and our life styles. In superb and standard New Social historian form, they gather a lot of their information, not from what other historians have said about this, but straight from the horse's mouth by interviewing citizens who live in suburban areas. They also address the new social thought that American ideals are flawed in concept as well as execution. If Suburban life is the fulfillment of American ideals, and it turned out so bad and secluded so many and really became an object of oppression, then how could American ideals be virtuous? They give great insight and expose the validity of some myths in America and make us question our own values. Although rough to plug through at times, i enjoyed this new social view of suburban America! good luck everyone on the studies!
Chris Siler
03:40 PM ET (US)
These were my top 11 for corn:
GI Bill
Civil Rights
Cuban Missile Crisis
Vietnam War
JFK Assasination
Berlin Wall Comes Down
Gulf War
Sorry.. it was a minute late
Edited 02-20-2003 03:41 PM
Lloyd BensonPerson was signed in when posted
03:40 PM ET (US)
Study Topics

This is more or less the final list. IF you would like to add a topic, please post it and I'll let you know.

From the Arrowhead Group's Topics:
Disfranchisement/Jim Crow Laws
Social Darwinism
Entrepreneurs (Rockefeller, Morgan, Carnegie)/ Rise of Big Corporations
Antitrust Legislation
Child Labor Laws
Temperance Movement
Settlement House Movement/Jane Addams
Plains Indian Policy, 1860s-1890s
Railroad Strike of 1877
Knights of Labor
AFL / Samuel Gompers
Spanish-American War
American Imperialism in Central/Latin America/Caribbean
Panama Canal
Roosevelt and American Involvement in WWI
Populist Movement
Federal Reserve Act

From Bison's Topics
WW I (esp. Fourteen Points, Versailles Treaty, League of Nations)
Women's Suffrage
The Causes of the Great Depression
FDR's New Deal policies
Election of 1936
Pearl Harbor
Teheran, Yalta and Potsdam conferences
Social Effects of WW II
Atomic Bomb
Truman Doctrine / Marshall Plan
Korean War
1950s Red Scare/McCarthyism

From Corn's Topics
GI Bill
Emergence of 1950s middle class female ideal
Eisenhower/Dulles Cold War Foreign Policies
Brown v. Board
Montgomery Bus Boycott
Lunch Counter Sit-ins/SNCC
March on Washington, 1963
Freedom Summer
Civil Rights act and Voting Rights Act
Re-emergence of the Republican Party in the South
Free Speech Movement and youth "revolts" of the 1960s
Causes of American Involvement in Indochina/Vietnam
Cuban Missile Crisis
Tet Offensive (1968)
Camp David Accords
Presidency of Ronald Reagan
Iran-Contra Affair
Collapse of Communism, Berlin Wall Falls, Breakup of USSR
Edited 02-20-2003 03:42 PM
Katie "I Have No Life" C.
03:06 PM ET (US)
Like there's anything else I could add... Arrowhead...

European Imperialism
American Imperialsm
Teddy Roosevelt
Panama Canal
Rockefeller, Morgan, Carnegie
Ford- interchangeable parts, assembly line
Women and Child Labor
Custer and the West
Progressive Era
Roaring Twenties

HAVE FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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